Pulpit Commentary - 2 Timothy 4:1 - 4:22

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Pulpit Commentary - 2 Timothy 4:1 - 4:22

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In the sight of God, and of Christ Jesus for therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, A.V. and T.R.; and by for at, A.V. and T.R. I charge thee ( διαμαρτύρομαι ); as 2Ti_2:14 and 1Ti_5:21 (where see note). The words οὖν ἐγώ , wanting in some of the best manuscripts, are "rejected by Griesbach, Tischendorf, Lachmann," and by Huther, Alford, Ellicott, and others. The chapter opens rather abruptly without the connecting "therefore." And by his appearing and his kingdom. The reading of the T.R., κατὰ τὴν ἐπιφάνειαν κ . τ . λ .., "at his appearing and kingdom," makes such excellent sense, and is in such perfect accordance with the usual grammar, and with the usual connection of events, that it is difficult not to believe that it is the right reading (see Mat_27:15, κατὰ ἑορτήν , "at the feast;" κατὰ πᾶν σάββατον , "on every sabbath;" Act_13:27, κατὰ τὴν ἡμέραν , "in the day;" Heb_3:8 for the grammar; and the universal language of Scripture and the Creeds connecting the judgment with the Lord's appearing and kingdom). On the other hand, the reading καὶ is almost impossible to construe. No two commentators scarcely are agreed how to do so. Some take τὴν ἐπιφανείαν καὶ τὴν βασιλείαν as the object governed by διαμαρτύρομαι as in the LXX. of Deu_4:26, "I call to witness… Christ's epiphany and kingdom," taking διαμαρτύρομαι in two senses or two constructions. Others take them as the accusatives of the things sworn by, "I charge thee before God and Jesus Christ, and by his epiphany and kingdom," as Mar_5:7, τὸν Θεόν , "by God;" Act_19:13, τὸν ̓Ιησοῦν , "by Jesus;" 1Th_5:27, τὸν Κύριον , "by the Lord." But how awkward such a separation of the thing sworn by from the verb is, and how unnatural it is to couple with καὶ the two ideas, "before God" and "by Christ's epiphany," and how absolutely without example such a swearing by Christ's epiphany and kingdom is, nobody needs to be told. Others, as Huther, try to get over part at least of this awkwardness by taking the two και 's as "both:" "by both his epiphany and his kingdom." Ellicott explains it by saying that as you could not put "the epiphany and the kingdom" in dependence upon ἐνώπιον (as if they were persons like God and Christ), they "naturally pass into the accusative." But surely this is all thoroughly unsatisfactory. The T.R. is perfectly easy and simple. Appearing ( ἐπιφανεία ); 1Th_5:8; 2Ti_1:10; 2Th_2:8; 1Ti_6:14; Tit_2:13. His kingdom. So in the Nicene Creed: "He shall come again with glory to judge both the quick and the dead: whose kingdom shall have no end" (comp. Mat_25:31, followed by the judgment).


Teaching for doctrine, A.V. Preach the Word ( κήρυξον τὸν λόγον ). It is impossible to exaggerate the dignity and importance here given to preaching by its being made the subject of so solemn and awful an adjuration as that in 2Ti_4:1 (compare the designation of κήρυξ which St. Paul gives to himself in 1Ti_2:7; 2Ti_1:11). Be instant ( ἐπίστηθι ). The force of the exhortation must be found, not in the verb itself taken alone, but by coupling εὐκαίρως ἀκαίρως closely with it. Be at your work, attend to it always, in and out of season; let nothing stop you; be always ready, always at hand. Reprove ( ἔλεγξον ); see 2Ti_3:16, note (comp. Mat_18:15; Eph_5:11; 1Ti_5:20). Generally with the idea of bringing the fault home to the offender. Rebuke ( ἐπιτίμησον ); a stronger word than ἔλεγξον , implying more of authority and less of argument (Mat_8:26 : Mat_17:18; Luk_19:39; Jud Luk_1:9, etc.). Exhort ( παρακάλεσον ). Sometimes the sense of "exhort," and sometimes that of "comfort," predominates (see 1Ti_2:1; 1Ti_6:2, etc.). Every way of strengthening and establishing souls in the fear and love of God is to be tried, and that with all long suffering and teaching. (For μακροθυμία , see 2Ti_3:10, note.) For "teaching" or "doctrine" ( διδαχή ), St. Paul more frequently uses διδασκαλία in the pastoral Epistles (1Ti_1:10; 1Ti_4:6, 1Ti_4:13, 1Ti_4:16; 1Ti_5:17; 1Ti_3:10, 1Ti_3:16, etc.); but there does not seem to be any great difference of meaning. Possibly διδαχή points more to the act of teaching. The use of it here, coupled with "long suffering," directs that the man of God, whether he preaches, reproves, rebukes, or exhorts, is always to be a patient teacher of God's Word and truth.


The sound for sound, A.V.; having itching ears, will heap to themselves teachers after their own lusts for after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, A.V. The sound ( τῆς ὑγιαινούσης ). Nothing is gained by the addition of the article in English. The phrase, ἡ ὑγιαίνουσα διδασκαλία , is characteristic of the pastoral Epistles, having arisen, no doubt, from the growth of heresy (see 1Ti_1:10
; 1Ti_6:3. 2Ti_1:13; Tit_1:9, Tit_1:13; Tit_2:1; also Tit_2:8). In classical Greek, ὑγιής is frequently applied to words, sentiments, advice, etc., in the sense of "sound," "wise;" and ὑγιαίειν is also applied to the mind and character. Endure ( ἀνέξονται ); usually, as Bishop Ellicott observes, applied by St. Paul to persons as the object, as elsewhere in the New Testament (Mat_17:17; Act_18:14; Eph_4:2, etc.); but not invariably (see 2Th_1:4; so too Heb_13:22). In classical Greek, ἀνέχεσθαι , followed by persons or things, usually governs an accusative case, if any, but a genitive frequently in Plato. Having itching ears ( κνηθόμενοι τὴν ἀκοήν ); only here in the New Testament. The phrase, κνησέως ὤτων , is ascribed by Plutarch to Plato (Alford), "scratching the (itching) ear;" κνᾶσθαι τὰ ὧτα , "to tickle the ears" (Lucian); ἀποκναίουσιν ἡμῶν τὰ ᾤτα (Philo, ap. Ellicott). The verb κνήθω (i.q. κνάω ) means "to scratch;" "to tickle," and in the passive "to itch." Will heap to themselves ( ἐπισωρεύσουσι ); a contemptuous word (found only here in the New Testament, and nowhere in early classical Greek), implying the indiscriminate multiplication of teachers (compare our use of "exaggerate"). The simple σωρεύειν occurs in 2Ti_3:6. After their own lusts. The measure of the number or the quality of their self-chosen teachers will be their own insatiable and ever-varying fancies and mental appetites, not the desire to be taught God's truth by teachers sent from God. Compare Jeroboam's conduct in ordaining a feast "in the mouth which he had devised of his own heart" (1Ki_12:33).


Will turn for they shall turn, A.V.; turn aside for shall be turned, A.V. Will turn away, etc. The sober, sound doctrine of the Word of God, teaching self-discipline, humility, and purity of heart and life, will not assuage their itching ears, and therefore they will turn away from it, and go after more congenial fables—those taught by the heretics. Turn aside ( ἐκτραπήσοναι ); as 1Ti_1:6
, note. Fables ( μύθους ); see 1Ti_1:4; 1Ti_4:7; Tit_1:14; 2Pe_1:16 (on the Jewish origin of these fables, see Bishop Ellicott's note on 1Ti_1:4).


Be thou sober for watch thou, A.V.; suffer hardship for endure afflictions, A.V.; fulfil for make full proof of, A.V. Be thou sober ( νῆφε ); as 1Th_5:6
, 1Th_5:8; 1Pe_1:13; 1Pe_4:7; 1Pe_5:8. The adjective νηφάλιος occurs in 1Ti_3:2 (where see note), 11; Tit_2:2. Here "Be sober in all things" clearly does not refer to literal sobriety, which Timothy was in little danger of transgressing (l Timothy 5:23), but comprehends clearness, calmness, steadiness, and moderation in all things. Suffer hardship ( κακοπάθησον ); as 2Ti_2:3 (T.R.) and 9. An evangelist ( εὐαγγελιστοῦ ); one whose business it is to preach the gospel, according to Mat_11:5. The verb εὐαγγελίζειν , "to preach the gospel," and αὐαγγέλιον , "the gospel," are of very frequent use in the New Testament. But εὐαγγελιστής , an evangelist. occurs elsewhere only in Act_21:8 and Eph_4:11. Fulfil thy ministry. This is rather a weak rendering of the Greek πληροφόρησον ,, adopted also in the R.V. of Luk_1:1. The verb occurs elsewhere in Luk_1:1; Rom_4:21; Rom_14:5, and Rom_14:17 of this chapter. The phrase is metaphorical, but it is uncertain whether the metaphor is that of a ship borne along by full sails, or of full measure given. If the former is the metaphor, then the derived meaning, when applied to persons, is that of full persuasion, entire and implicit faith, which carries men forward in a bold and unwavering course; or, when applied to things, that of being undoubtedly believed. But if the metaphor is taken from "bringing full measure;" then the sense in the passive voice when applied to persons will be "to be fully satisfied," i.e. to have full assurance, and, when applied to things, "to be fully believed" (Liddell and Scott). Applying the last metaphor to the passage before us, the sense will be "discharge thy ministry to the fall." Let there be no stint of ministerial labour, but carry it out in its completeness, and to the end.


Already being offered for now ready to be offered, A.V.; come for at hand. A.V. I am already being offered. The ἐγώ is emphatic, in contrast with the σύ of 2Ti_4:5
: "Thou, who hast still life before thee, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. I can do so no longer, for my martyrdom has already commenced, and my end is close at hand. Thou must take my place in the great conflict." Am being offered ( σπένδομαι ); am being poured out, as the drink offering, or libation, is poured out. St. Paul uses the same figure in Php_2:17, where he couples it with the sacrifice and service (or offering up) of the faith of the Philippians by himself as the priest, and looks upon the pouring out of his own life as the completion of that sacrifice (see Ellicott on Philippians). "The libation always formed the conclusion of the sacrifice, and so the apostle's martyrdom closed his apostolic service" (Huther), which had been a continual sacrifice, in which he had been the ministering priest (Rom_15:16). So that the use of σπένδομαι here exactly agrees with that in Php_2:17. "My sacrificial work," St. Paul says," being now finished and ended, I am performing the last solemn act, the pouring out of my own life in martyrdom, to which I shall pass out of the prison where I now am." The time of my departure ( τῆς ἐμῆς ἀναλύσεως ). The word is found nowhere else in the New Testament, but St. Paul uses the verb ἀναλῦσαι , "to depart," in Php_1:23, where, the verb being in the active voice, the metaphor clearly is from weighing anchor, as in common use in classical Greek; hence simply "to depart." The classical use of ἀνάλυσις rather favours the sense, either of" release" or of " dissolution." But St. Paul's use of ἀναλύω in Php_1:23, and the frequent use of the same verb in the LXX. and by Josephus, in the sense of "to depart," favours the rendering of ἀνάλυσις by "departure," as in the A.V. and R.V. Is come; rather, is at hand ( ἐφέστηκε ); the same verb as ἐπίστηθι in Php_1:2. (On the difference between ἐνέστηκε ("is come") and ἐφέστηκε ("is at hand"), see Alford on 2Th_2:2, and comp. Act_22:20.)


The for a, A.V.; the for my, A.V. I have fought the good fight; as 1Ti_6:12
( τὸν ἀγῶνα τὸν καλόν ), meaning that, however honourable the contests of the games were deemed, the Christian contest was far more honourable than them all. The word "fight" does not adequately express by agora, which embraces all kinds of contests—chariot race, foot race, wrestling, etc. "I have played out the honourable game" would give the sense, though inelegantly. The course ( τὸν δρόμον ); Act_13:25; Act_20:24. The runner in the race had a definite δρόμος , or course to run, marked out for him. St. Paul's life was that course, and he knew that he had run it out. I have kept the faith. St. Paul here quits metaphor and explains the foregoing figures. Through his long eventful course, in spite of all difficulties, conflicts, dangers, and temptations, he had kept the faith of Jesus Christ committed to him, inviolable, unadulterated, whole, and complete. He had not shrunk from confessing it when death stared him in the face; he had not corrupted it to meet the views of Jews or Gentiles; with courage and resolution and perseverance he had kept it to the end. Oh! let Timothy do the same.


The for a, A.V.; to me for me, A.V.; only to me for to me only, A.V.; also to all them for unto all them also, A.V.; have loved for love. Henceforth ( λοιπόν ); as Heb_10:13. The work of conflict being over, it only remains to receive the crown. The crown of righteousness means that crown the possession of which marks the wearer as righteous before God. The analogous phrases are, "the crown of glory" (1Pe_5:4) and "the crown of life" (Jas_1:12; Rev_2:10). The righteousness, the glory, and the life of the saints are conceived as displayed in crowns, as the kingly dignity is in the crown of royalty. The righteous Judge ( κριτής ). In Act_10:42 the Lord Jesus is said to be ordained of God Κριτὴς ζώντων καὶ νεκρῶν . "the Judge of quick and dead;" and in Heb_12:23 we read, Κριτῇ Θεῷ πάντων , "God the Judge of all." But nowhere else, either in the Old Testament or the New Testament, is this term applied directly either to God or to Christ. Surely its use here is influenced by the preceding metaphor of the ἀγών and the δρόμος and the στέφανος ; and "the righteous Judge" is the impartial βραβεύς , or "judge," who assigned the prizes at the games to those who had fairly won them. And this is the proper meaning of κριτής , "the umpire," applied, especially at Athens, to the "judges" at the poetic contests (Liddell and Scott). Thucydides contrasts the κριτής and the ἀγωνιστής ; Aristophanes the κριταί and the θεαταί , the "spectators;" and the word "critic" is derived from this meaning of κιτής and κριτικός . The whole picture is that of the apostle running his noble race of righteousness to the very end, and of the Lord himself assigning to him the well earned crown of victory in the presence of heaven and earth assembled for the solemnity of that great day. That have loved his appearing. It will be a characteristic of those who will be crowned at that day that all the time they were lighting the good fight they were looking forward with hope and desire for their Lord's appearing and kingdom. "Thy kingdom come" was their desire and their petition. They will be able to say at that day, "So, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation" (Isa_25:9). His appearing; as in Heb_12:2.


Do thy diligence
( σπούδασον ); see 2Ti_2:15
, note. St. Paul's affectionate longing for Timothy's company in present danger and desertion is very touching. (For the chronological bearing of this passage, see Introduction.)


Forsook for hath forsaken, A.V.; went for is departed, A.V.; to for unto, A.V. (twice). Demas. Nothing more is known of Demas than what is gathered from the mention of him in Col_4:14
and Phm_1:24. We learn from those passages that he was a fellow labourer of the apostle, and it is remarkable that in them both he is coupled, as here, with Luke and Mark (Col_4:10). (See Introduction.) Having loved this present world. It would appear from this that Demas had not the faith or the courage to run the risk of sharing St. Paul's imminent martyrdom at Rome, but left him, while he was free to do so, under pretence of an urgent call to Thessaloniea; just as Mark left Paul and Barnabas (Act_13:13). But there is no ground to believe that he was an apostate from the faith. The coupling together of Demas and Aristarchus in Phm_1:24 suggests that Demas may have been a Thessalonian, as we know that Aristarchus was (Act_20:4). Demas is thought to be a shortened form of Demarchus. If so, we have a slight additional indication of his being a Thessalonian, as compounds with archos or arches would seem to have been common in Thessalonica (compare Aristarchus and πολιτάρχης , Act_17:6, Act_17:8). Crescens ( Κρήσκης ); only mentioned here. It is a Latin name, like Πούδης , Pudens, in Phm_1:21. There was a cynic philosopher of this name in the second century, a great enemy of the Christians. The tradition ('Apost. Constit.,' 7.46) that he preached the gospel in Galatia is probably derived from this passage. Titus, etc. The last mention of Titus, not reckoning the Epistle to Titus, is that in 2Co_12:18, from which it appears that St. Paul had sent him to Corinth just before his own last visit to that city. How the interval was filled up, and where Titus passed the time, we know not. He is not once named in the Acts of the Apostles, nor in any of St. Paul's Epistles written during his first imprisonment. But we gather from Tit_1:5 that he accompanied St. Paul to Crete, presumably after the apostle's return from Spain; that he was left there for a time to organize the Church; that later he joined the apostle at Nicopolis (Tit_3:12),and, doubtless by St. Paul's desire, went to Dalmatia, as mentioned in this tenth verse. And here our knowledge of him ends. Tradition pretty consistently makes him Bishop of Gortyna, in Crete, where are the ruins of a very ancient church dedicated to St. Titus, in which service is occasionally performed by priests from the neighbourhood (Dean Howson, in 'Dict. of Bible:' art. "Titus").


Useful for profitable, A.V.; ministering for the ministry, A.V. Luke; probably a shortened form of Lucanus. Luke was with St. Paul in his voyage to Rome (Act_27:1
; Act_28:11, Act_28:16), and when he wrote the Epistles to the Colossians and Philemon (Col_4:14; Phm_1:4), having doubtless composed the Acts of the Apostles during St. Paul's two years' imprisonment (Act_28:30). How he spent his time between that date and the mention of him here as still with St. Paul, we have no knowledge. But it looks as if he may have been in close personal attendance upon him all the time. if he had been permitted to write a supplement to the Acts, perhaps the repeated "we" would have shown this. Take Mark. Mark had apparently been recently reconciled to St. Paul when he wrote Col_4:10, and was with him when he wrote Phm_1:24. We know nothing more of him till we learn from this passage that he was with or near to Timothy, and likely to accompany him to Rome in his last visit to St. Paul. He is mentioned again in 1Pe_5:13, as being with St. Peter at Babylon. The expression, "take" ( ἀναλαβών ), seems to imply that Timothy was to pick him up on the way, as the word is used in Act_20:13, Act_20:14; and, though less certainly, in Act_23:31. He is useful to me, etc. ( εὔχρηστος ); as Act_2:21 (where see note). This testimony to Mark's ministerial usefulness, at a time when his faithfulness and courage would be put to a severe test, is very satisfactory. For ministering ( εἰς διακονίαν ). It may be doubted whether διακονία here means "the ministry," as in the A.V. and 1Ti_1:12, or, as in the R.V., more generally "for ministering," i.e. for acting as an assistant to me in my apostolic labours. The words, "to me," favour the latter rendering. The sense would then be the same as that of the verb in Act_19:22, where we read that Timothy and Erastus "ministered unto him," i.e. to St. Paul, and that of ὑπηρέτης applied to Mark in Act_13:5.


But for and, A.V.; sent for have sent, A.V. Tychicus was with St. Paul when he wrote the Epistle to the Colossians (Col_4:7
), as was also Timothy (Col_1:1). The presence of Luke, Timothy, Tychicus, Mark, with Paul now, as then, is remarkable (see verse 10, note). I sent to Ephesus. Theodoret (quoted by Alford, 'Proleg. to 2 Timothy,' ch. 9. sect. 1) says, "It is plain from this that St. Timothy was not at this time living at Ephesus, but somewhere else." And that certainly is the natural inference at first sight. But Bishop Ellicott suggests the possibility of Tychicus being the bearer of the First Epistle to Timothy, written not very long before, and this being merely an allusion to that well known fact. Another and more probable idea is that he was the bearer of this Epistle, that the object of his mission, like that of Artemas (Tit_3:12), was to take Timothy's place at Ephesus during Timothy's absence at Rome, and that he is thus mentioned in the Epistle in order to commend him to the reverent regard of the Ephesian Church (Wordsworth). It is argued against this that πρός σε would have been the more natural expression after the analogy of Col_4:7 and Tit_3:12. But this objection would be removed if we suppose that the Epistle was sent by another hand, and that it was very possible that Timothy might have started for Rome before Tychicus could arrive at Ephesus. He might have orders to visit Corinth or Macedonia on his way. (For the arguments for and against Timothy being at Ephesus at this time, see Alford's 'Proleg.,' as above.)


Bring when thou comest for when thou comest bring with thee, A.V.; especially for but especially, A.V. The cloke ( τὸν φελόνην , more properly written φαινόλην ); the Latin paenula, the thick overcoat or cloke. Only here in the New Testament. Some think it was the bag in which the books and parchments were packed. The parchments ( τὰς μεμβράνας ). This, again, is a Latin word. It occurs only here in the New Testament. They would probably be for the apostle to write his Epistles on. Or they may have been valuable manuscripts of some kind. In 2Ti_4:20
we learn that St. Paul had lately been at Miletus; and in 1Ti_1:3 that he was then going to Macedonia. Tress would be on his way to Macedonia, Greece, and Rome (Act_16:8, Act_16:9, Act_16:11), as it was on the return journey from Macedonia to Miletus (Act_20:5, Act_20:15). It should further be observed that the journey here indicated is the same as that referred to in 1Ti_1:3, which confirms the inevitable inference from this chapter that St. Paul, on his way to Rome from Miletus, whither he had come from Crete (Tit_1:5), passed through Tress, Macedonia, and Corinth (1Ti_1:20), leaving Timothy at Ephesus. (See Introduction.)


Will render to him for reward him, A.V. and T.R. Alexander; apparently an Ephesian, as appears by the words, "of whom be thou ware also." It seems probable, though it is necessarily uncertain, that this Alexander is the same person as that mentioned in 1Ti_1:20
as "a blasphemer," which agrees exactly with what is here said of him, "he greatly withstood our words" (comp. Act_13:45, "contradicted the things which were spoken by Paul, and blasphemed"). He may or may not be the same as the Alexander named in Act_19:33. Supposing the Alexander of 1Ti_1:20 and this place to be the same, the points of resemblance with the Alexander of Act_19:33 are that both resided at Ephesus, that both seem to have been Christians (see note on 1Ti_1:20), and both probably Jews, inasmuch as 1Ti_1:1-20 relates entirely to Jewish heresies (1Ti_1:4, 1Ti_1:7, 1Ti_1:8), and Act_19:33 expressly states that he was a Jew. The coppersmith ( ὁ χαλκεὺς ; only here in the New Testament); properly, a coppersmith, but used generally of any smith—silversmith, or goldsmith, or blacksmith. Did me much evil ( πολλά μοι κακὰ ἐνδείξατο ). This is a purely Hellenistic idiom, and is found in the LXX. of Gen_1:15, Gen_1:17; Song of the Three Children, 19; 2 Macc. 13:9. In classical Greek the verb ἐνδείκυυμαι , in the middle voice, "to display," can only be followed by a subjective quality, as "good will," "virtue," "long suffering," an "opinion," and the like (see Alford, in loc.). And so it is used in 1Ti_1:16; Tit_2:10; Tit_3:2. The question naturally arises—When and where did Alexander thus injure St. Paul?—at Ephesus or at Rome? Bengel suggests Rome, and with great probability. Perhaps he did him evil by stirring up the Jews at Rome against the apostle at the time of "his first defence;" or by giving adverse testimony before the Roman tribunal, possibly accusing him of being seditious, and bringing up the riot at Ephesus as a proof of it; or in some other way, of which the memory has perished. Will render. The R.T. has the future, ἀποδώσει for the optative ἀποδώη , "a late and incorrect form for ἀποδοίη " (Ellicott, in loc.).


Withstood for hath withstood, A.V. Of whom be thou ware ( ὃν φυλάσσου ). This is the proper construction in classical Greek, the accusative of the person or thing, after φυλάσσομαι . But it is only found in Act_21:25
. In Luk_12:15 the equally correct phrase, Φυλάσσεσθε ἀπὸ τῆς πλεονεξιας , is used. The inference from this caution to Timothy is that Alexander had left Rome and returned to his native Ephesus. The Jews were always on the move. He greatly withstood our words ( ἀντέστη ). For an exactly similar use, see Act_13:8, where Elymas "withstood" Paul and Barnabas; and 2Ti_3:8, where Jannes and Jambres "withstood" Moses. In this case we may be sure that Paul, in pleading for his life, did not omit to preach the gospel to his Gentile audience. Alexander tried to refute his words, not without effect. The apostle says "our words" (not "my words"), perhaps to associate with himself those other Christians who were with him. It certainly cannot mean "yours and mine," as Timothy was not with him when the "words" were spoken.


Detente for answer, A.V.; no one took my part for no man stood with me, A.V.; all for all men, A.V.; may it not for I pray God it may not, A.V.; account for charge, A.V. Defence ( ἀπολογίᾳ ). "The technical word in classical Greek for a defence in answer to an accusation;" as Act_22:1
(where see note for further illustration), and Php_1:7. Took my part; παρεγένετο R.T., for συμπαρεγένετο T.R., which occurs elsewhere in the New Testament only in Luk_23:48, in a somewhat different sense. The simple παραγίνομαι is very common in the New Testament, but nowhere in the technical sense in which it is used here. In classical Greek both forms are common in the sense of "coming to aid," "standing by any one," "assisting." Here it represents the Latin assistere or adesse in its technical sense of "standing by" an accused person as friend or assistant, to aid and abet them in their defence. Powerful men sometimes brought such a multitude of assistants as to overawe the magistrate, as Orgetorix the Helvetian, when summoned to trial, appeared with ten thousand followers, and so there was no trial. Paul, like his Lord and Master, of whom it is written, "All his disciples forsook him and fled," had no one to stand with him in his hour of need.


But for notwithstanding, A.V.; by for with, A.V.; through for by, A.V.; message for preaching, A.V.; proclaimed for known, A.V. Stood by me ( μαοὶ παρέστη ); as in Act_27:23
; Rom_16:2 (where see also the use of προστάτις , a helper). Παρίσταμαι means simply to stand by the side of a person—to be present. But, like παραγίνομαι , it acquires the meaning of standing by for the purpose of helping. The contrast between the timid faithless friends who failed him like a deceitful brook (Job_6:15), and the faithfulness of the Lord who was a very present Help in trouble, is very striking. Strengthened me ( ἐνεδυνάμωσέ με ); see 1Ti_1:12, note, and Act_6:8. The message ( κήρυγμα ). The A.V. preaching is far better. St. Paul means that gospel which he was commissioned to preach, and which tie did preach openly in full court when he was on his trial (see Act_6:15, note). Might be fully proclaimed ( πληροφορήθη ); see 2Ti_4:5, note; and comp. Rom_15:19. All the Gentiles might hear (comp. Php_1:12-14). The brave, unselfish spirit of the apostle thinking more of the proclamation of the gospel than of his own life, is truly admirable. I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. Surely there can be no doubt that, as Bengel says, this is a quotation from Psa_22:20, Psa_22:21. The verb ἐῤῥύσθην , "I was delivered," comes from the twentieth verse, "Deliver my soul from the sword," and the phrase, ἐκ στόματος λέοντος , is found verbatim in Psa_22:21. The apostle means his deliverance from the executioner's sword. In the next verse we find both the words ρύσεται and σώσει , and the whole tone of the psalm breathes the same spirit as the saying, "The Lord stood by me." Dean Alford's suggestion that the lion here is Satan, as in 1Pe_5:8, and the danger which the apostle escaped was not death, which he did not fear, but betraying the gospel under the fear of death, is ingenious, but rather far fetched, though not impossible. It may possibly have been part of what was in St. Paul's mind.


The Lord for and the Lord, A.V. and T.R.; will for shall, A.V.; save for preserve, A.V.; the glory for glory, A.V. Deliver me... save me (see preceding note). The language here is also very like that of the Lord's Prayer: Ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ σοῦ γὰρ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία καὶ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας Ἀμήν (Mat_6:13). Every evil work. Alford goes altogether astray in his remarks on this passage. Interpreted by the Lord's Prayer, and by its own internal evidence, the meaning clearly is, "The Lord, who stood by me at my trial, will continue to be my Saviour. He will deliver me from every evil design of mine enemies, and from all the wiles and assaults of the devil, in short, from the whole power of evil, and will bring me safe into his own kingdom of light and righteousness." There is a strong contrast, as Bengel pithily observes, between "the evil work" and "his heavenly kingdom." A triumphant martyrdom is as true a deliverance as escape from death. Compare our Lord's promise, "There shall not an hair of your head perish" (Luk_21:18 compared with Luk_21:16). St. Paul's confidence simply is that the Lord would, in his own good time and way, transfer him from this present evil world, and from the powers of darkness, into his eternal kingdom of light and righteousness.


House for household, A.V. Prisca and Aquila. Prisca is elsewhere always called Priscilla (Act_18:2, Act_18:18, Act_18:26; Rom_16:3; 1Co_16:19). A similar variation of names is seen in Drusa and Drusilla, Livia and Livella, etc. She is named before her husband, as here in Act_18:18; Rom_16:3. The mention of them here is in favour of Timothy being at Ephesus at this time, as Ephesus is one of the places where they were wont to sojourn (Act_18:19, Act_18:26). The house (as in A.V. Rom_1:16) of Onesiphorus (see Rom_1:16, Rom_1:18, note). This repetition of the "house of Onesiphorus" is almost conclusive as to the recent death of Onesiphorus himself.


I left for have I left, A.V.; Miletus for Miletum, A.V. Erastus abode at Corinth. We learn from Rom_16:3
that Erastus was the chamberlain of Corinth, which accounts for his abiding there, lie was one of St. Paul's companions in his missionary journey, and we learn from Act_19:22 that he was sent by St. Paul with Timothy into Macedonia just before the great riot at Ephesus. The mention of him here clearly indicates that St. Paul had gone from Troas, where he left his cloke, to Corinth on his way to Rome. Trophimus is first mentioned in Act_20:4, where we learn that he was an Asiatic, and more definitely in Act_21:29, that he was an Ephesian. He had travelled with St. Paul's party from Macedonia to Troas, and thence to Miletus and Jerusalem, where we lose sight of him till we find him again in this passage journeying towards Rome with St. Paul and others, but stopped at Miletus by sickness. Miletus, not Miletum, is the correct form.


Saluteth for greeteth, A.V. Do thy diligence ( σπούδασον ); see 2Ti_4:9
and 2Ti_2:15, note. Before winter; lest, when winter storms come, it be impossible to do so. St. Paul's longing to have Timothy with him is apparent throughout. Eubulus; mentioned nowhere else. The name is not uncommon as a Greek name, and appears also in the patronymic Eubulides, and the female name Eubule. And Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia. Of these persons Linus is probably the same as is mentioned by Irenaeus and Eusebius as the first Bishop of Rome. Irenaeus (3:111, 3) says, "When the apostles, therefore, had founded the Church (of Rome) they entrusted the office ( λειτουργίαν ) of the episcopate to Linus, of whom Paul makes mention in his Epistles to Timothy." Eusebius ('Ecc. Hist.,' Ecc_3:2) says, "Linus was ordained the first Bishop of Rome ( πρῶτος κληροῦται τὴν ἐπισκοπήν ) after the martyrdom of Paul and Peter" (see, too, § 4 of the same book). Some identify him with a certain Llin in Welsh hagiography, said to be the son of Caractacus. As regards Pudens and Claudia, nothing is known about them unless the very ingenious and interesting theory of Archdeacon Williams is true, which is necessarily very uncertain. According to this theory, Claudia is the foreign lady, a Briton, whose marriage with Pudens is spoken of by Martial in two epigrams, and who also bore the cognomen of Rufina. It is supposed that she was the daughter of the British king Cogidubnus, the ally of the Romans and of the Roman governor, Aulus Plautius, whose wife Pomponia is said by Tacitus to have been impeached of the crime of embracing a "foreign superstition," which was probably Christianity. Cogidubnus appears by an ancient inscription now at Goodwood to have taken the name of the Emperor Claudius, being called Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus, which would naturally lead to his daughter being called Claudia. And if further she was adopted by the wife of her father's ally, the name Rufina would be accounted for, as a distinguished branch of the gens Pomponia bore the name of Rufus. And Martial's epigram is addressed to "Rufus," as one interested in the marriage. Claudia may either have learnt Christianity from Pomponia, or may have conveyed the knowledge of the gospel to her. On the other hand, the name of Pudens appears on the Goodwood inscription as having given, while still a heathen, a site for a temple of Neptune and Minerva, which was built "pro salute" of the imperial family under the authority of King Cogidubnus—curiously connecting him with the British king. It is probable that Pudens and Claudia were not yet married. Thus it will be seen that, while this theory is borne out by many coincidences, it cannot by any means be adopted as certain. Lewin warmly espouses the theory, but hesitates between Caractacus and Cogidubnus as the father of Claudia. Farrar rejects the whole theory "as an elaborate rope of sand". If Linus was the son, and Claudia the daughter, of Caractacus, they would be brother and sister.


The Lord for the Lord Jesus Christ, A.V. and T.R. The Lord be with thy spirit, etc. The manuscripts vary. The salutation as it stands in the R.T. is like the versicles, "The Lord be with you. A. And with thy spirit." It is a peculiarity of the salutation here that it is double—one to Timothy personally, μετὰ τοῦ πνεύματός σου ; the other to the Church, ἡ χάρις μεθ ὑμῶν . 1Co_16:24
exhibits another variety. Grace (see 1Ti_6:21, note). The R.T. omits the "amen" at the end, as in 1Ti_6:21. Thus doses our last authentic account of this great apostle; these are, perhaps, the last words of him who wrought a greater change in the condition of mankind by his speech than any man that ever lived. All honour be to his blessed memory!



The last charge.

The words of this chapter have the peculiar interest which attaches to the last words of one who was prominent above his fellow men, and they have this striking character, that the apostle, knowing that the time of his departure was at hand, when the great work of his life must cease as far as he was concerned, was intensely solicitous that the work should go on after his death with uninterrupted course and with undiminished force. It is one of the features of the holy unselfishness of St. Patti's character that he was not anxious for the success of the gospel only as far as that success was connected with his own labours, and was the fruit of his own apostolic energy; but that the growth of Christ's kingdom, and the increase of Christ's Church, and the salvation of souls, were things that he intensely longed for for their own sake, and without the slightest reference to himself. Accordingly, in the words before us, he throws his whole soul into the task of urging Timothy to carry on the work of the ministry with a vigour equal to his own. By the most solemn motives. speaking as in the immediate presence of the great Judge of the quick and the dead, with the expectation of the great epiphany in full view, with all the glories of the mediatorial kingdom spread out before his mind's eye, he urges him to the work—the ministerial work; the evangelistic work; the work in which Paul had spent his strength, and ungrudgingly used his splendid faculties; the work which is described in three words, "Preach the Word." For these words do really comprehend all the details which are added. Go as God's herald, and deliver to the people God's message—his message of abounding grace, his Word of pardon and forgiveness, his Word of love and reconciliation. Preach the Word which tells of Jesus Christ, of death to sin by his death upon the cross, of life to God by his resurrection from the dead. Preach the Word of holy obedience, of charity, and purity, and patience, and gentleness, and peace; the Word of like mindedness with Christ, of conformity to the will of God; the Word of truth and righteousness; the unerring Word, which is like God, and cannot lie. Preach the Word as erie who knows its worth and its power; as one who knows that the issues of life and death are bound up with it; as one who will brook no delay in preaching it. Preach it with special application to the varying needs of those who hear it. Reprove sin by its searching light. Rebuke offenders by its sharp two-edged blade. Exhort the weak and sluggish by its comforting and animating truths. Exemplify its excellence by the spirit in which you teach it. And be prepared for hardships and opposition and contradiction in your work. You may have to stand alone. You may see popular preachers all around you, leading astray silly souls by hundreds and thousands; tickling their ears with foolish fancies; ministering to their idle lusts; leading them away from the truth. But do thou "preach the Word." Flinch not, shrink not, wince not. Do the work of an evangelist, faithfully, steadfastly, boldly. Fill my place; take up my work; witness for Christ as I have witnessed; suffer for Christ as I have suffered; and then join me in the kingdom of glory. Such is the tenor of the last apostolic charge. The Lord grant to his Church an unfailing succession of men to carry out its directions, and to fulfil it in its spirit and in its letter!


"Orpah kissed her mother-in-law; but Ruth clave unto her."

In this little social incident of some three thousand years ago, which may have passed at the time with little observation, we have a pithy and pregnant example set before us, with the usual searching wisdom of Holy Scripture, of the difference between friendship and friendship, religion and religion, according as they lie deep in the roots of the heart or merely lie on the surface. The contrast between Demas and Luke affords another example of this important difference. We may believe that Demas had faith in Christ, and also that he had a measure of friendship for St. Paul. We need not suppose that, when he was a "fellow worker" with St. Paul in the good work of evangelizing the world, when he was his companion with Luke and others during his first imprisonment at Rome, and travelled with him again Romewards, he was playing the hypocrite, and that he was either false in his profession of faith to the Lord Jesus or of attachment to his apostle. But neither his faith nor his friendship had been put to a severe test. The force of St. Paul's character had hitherto borne him along like an impetuous torrent, he had confidence in his star; he felt sure, perhaps, that the cause which Paul espoused would triumph; and no difficulties had arisen sufficient to make him waver in his purpose. But suddenly all was changed. This second imprisonment, with its ominous trial, with the defection of the Asiatic Christians, and the desertion of friends, had altered the whole aspect of affairs. Instead of the triumphs of the faith and the supremacy of the great apostle, he saw the probability of a cruel death for St. Paul and his nearest companions. The trial was too great for his weak faith and his superficial friendship. Without denying Christ, and without withdrawing from his outward attachment to St. Paul, we can fancy him, perhaps, with protestations of undiminished love, and regrets at the necessity which called him away, hurrying off to Thessalonica, his native place. But Paul felt it to be, what it was, a desertion. "Orpah kissed her mother-in-law; but Ruth clave unto her." In the words, "Only Luke is with me," we see the different stamp both of his faith and of his friendship. Luke the physician was as loving as he was loved. With admirable fidelity and unshaken constancy, he had followed his great master from Philippi to Troas, and from Troas to Jerusalem. In the graphic narratives of St. Paul's trials before the Sanhedrim, before Felix, before Festus and Agrippa; in his account of the shipwreck and of the arrival at Rome,—we trace his presence at all those eventful scenes. Through the two whole years of imprisonment he had never left him. And now that the end of that great career was drawing nigh, and the clouds were gathering up and darkening the evening of that glorious life, and various sorrows were thickening around that noble spirit, we read still, not in the inferences of Luke's modest narratives, but in the testimony of St. Paul himself, "Only Luke is with me." "Ruth clave unto her." "Whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God The Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part me and thee." We see, too, how he who had recorded in such graphic words "all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up," had imbibed the spirit of his Divine Master. He had not taught others to know Jesus Christ, without coming to the knowledge of him himself. And so his faith was firm in that day of shaking. He was ready to lose his life that he might gain it; and he stands before us, not only as the evangelist who teaches and delights us, but as the strong believer and the faithful friend, whose example is as persuasive as his words.


2Ti_4:1, 2Ti_4:2

A solemn charge to Timothy to make full proof of his ministry.

The prospect of his approaching death led the apostle to address his young disciple with deep and earnest feeling.

I. THE SOLEMN ADJURATION. "I charge thee in the sight of God, and of Christ Jesus, who shall judge the quick and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom." The object of the apostle is to impart to Timothy a solemn sense of responsibility in the discharge of his ministry.

1. All preachers must one day give an account of their stewardship. Such a thought ought to stimulate them to greater faithfulness.

2. Their responsibility is to God and Jesus Christ, who are Witnesses of their work, as they have made them good ministers of the New Testament.

3. Jesus Christ is the Judge of the two classes of living and dead saints, who in the last day shall appear before his judgment seat. All judgment is committed to him, and he will exercise it righteous